Leaving for Italy

Tomorrow I’m flying to Rome, and then driving a few hours north to Umbria. I’m excited to meet up with Johanna in Rome first (she’s been in Sweden the past few weeks), and then we’re staying with my friends Andrea, his wife Dasha, and some friends of theirs in the countryside.

I haven’t been to Italy since 2014 when Andrea and Dasha got married (I can’t believe it’s that long ago, but I just checked an old email to find out). We’re staying four nights in Umbria, and then coming back for two nights in Rome. I’m most excited to hang out with everyone, but I am pretty pumped for great pasta. I never eat pasta anymore, even gluten-free. It’s just something I don’t think about. I’ll do some extra cardio when I get back. That’s my mental permission slip I’m giving myself at least.

Since my last blog I’ve been low-key. Just here in Mexico City dialing in my boring but fulfilling routines. I was super burnt-out on trading and was putting all of my focus on writing. For better and worse my trading stamina came back, and I finished a few new algorithms that excited the nerd part of me. I traded my first bond ever. It was bothering me that I couldn’t figure out any ways to profitably trade bonds, but I think I found an edge, and will find out over the next few weeks.

I slowed down a little on writing, but have been working on a sustainable routine. I started a new short story, and found a potential editor for the previous one that I finished. I need to send it in, and got a little bogged down at first not knowing the next steps (I had to research editors, etc. – just excuses in hindsight).

I’ve been consistent with kettlebell workouts, although I had to go from four days a week to three. My joints were getting very achy from all of the new movements. I was getting nervous about the pain and more fatigued than I wanted, but a simple tweak going down to Monday-Wednesday-Friday for kettlebells fixed everything. I’m experimenting with yoga on one to two of the off days too. Part of it is finding the right class/studio locally. I went to a place that I liked, but the afternoon class was two hours long. That’s a big commitment for a rest-day for me, but perhaps I’ll get into it. For kb workouts I really like the stuff this guy puts out on IG: https://www.instagram.com/asgooch/reels/

I’ve been reading a lot as usual. I liked Steven Pressfield’s book “The Artist’s Journey”. It’s in the same vein as his other books such as “The War of Art”, but I felt like it’s a nice build on the series. He really went for it giving some mystical theories about where art and creative thoughts come from, and hammered home how the lives we lead could be summarized into the famous “hero’s journey” template. He also asserts that for many of us we have two lives: the first one where it’s a standard hero’s journey (a quick and dirty Star Wars: Luke is an ordinary guy, gets a call to become a Jedi, has trials and tribulations, mentors and tricksters, goes through many tests with ups and downs, and ultimately comes back changed for the better through these trials and overcoming internal/external struggles), but that the conclusion of our first hero’s journey is the start of our next phase, “an artist’s journey” as he calls it. The first journey prepares you and gives you the material/knowledge for the next journey in your life. This second journey is hopefully your “calling” in life. I think it’s pretty applicable and I’ve seen it play out through people I know, and even myself currently. It takes a lot of years and experimentation before you can confidently start saying no to most life wasters, and yes to the harder but important things that matter.

With that I’m going to get to bed before my early flight. I’ll share some pics from Italy next blog, but for now I’ll leave you with a pic from my local park that I took yesterday, Parque Mexico. Have a great week!

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